Example: Caitlyn Jenner Hiding T Sexuality

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My husband at an air show; hatching a plan with Chewbacca; working another air show as a marshaller.
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Me teasing Darth Vader; Caitlyn Jenner on 20/20 with Diane Sawyer.

A CULTURE OF SECRECY
Videos of Caitlyn Jenner’s Secrecy
DEMONSTRATION OF QUESTIONS
Both Cait and Me
PLEA FOR OPENNESS
Reporters and Us All

Caitlyn Jenner and I have different ideas about what is good for us trans people—many times, it’s the opposite. We enjoy chatting every now and then, but we argue on a political level like opposing politicians in congress. She says focus on gender and marginalize our sex aspects; I say that’s denial that hurts us all, causes shaming and self-discrimination, and even gets us killed. They’re the effects of a Culture of Secrecy in the trans world: “‘Be yourself,’ but don’t be your real self.”

People and reporters collude, enabling a trans dysfunctional system.

Cait has made herself a prime example of this sexual secrecy, likely without being aware that it hurts people. I’ll show the trap she’s got herself into—defend her a little bit later—and share what we all can do to improve.

Let me say at the outset that I have known Cait from Camarillo Airport, CA. Her airplane hangar is near mine. Cait: I love you, love your hugs and humor, our chats, the dune buggy ride, your dog, Brandon, etc. I think you are a good person who has gotten some bad advice from some trans leaders. I sometimes comment on things you’ve said publicly, and I deeply don’t want to disparage you, but for the sake of trans people at large who need better information to help navigate life in role, I have to say how you’re unwittingly hurting people in your message to the public. I pray you’ll some day use your fame to help sell trans person sexualities as okay, rather than hiding and hoping.

What sexualities? I actually mean issues of sex, not gender:

  1. physical sex identity (I mean identifying with an actual physical sex—”I am female” or “I am male”—as opposed to gender euphemisms such as man or woman)
  2. physical sex expression: genitalia (male or female in form and function); penis or vagina, and
  3. sexual response in bed as a male or a female (not orientation).

On a social level, trans person sexualities should not matter at all in some areas, yet matter greatly in other areas, and can be life or death to people like me.

In this article, I will ask Cait to look into my world while I try to look into hers. She is very knowledgeable about publicity yet relatively inexperienced in in trans areas, largely since 2015. I know little about publicity, yet have been deeply involved in the trans world for decades.  I’m a very long-term transsexual, SRS in 1981, former clinical social worker, “behind the lines” as wife and widow of a conservative icon.

I’ll discuss these phenomena from the Male-to-Female direction, to simplify discussion and so I can compare and contrast both Cait and myself.

A CULTURE OF SECRECY

Transgender paradigm leaders talk about gender identity, gender role change as paramount, use gender as a vague euphemism for physical sex, but play down physical sex identity, genitalia, and sexual response as male or female. Here is a depiction, largely since the 1990s, mostly since the honest progenitor of transgender living, Virginia Prince, Ph.D., was active.

T Phenomena on med blue field
I will refer to this chart—A, B, and C—from time to time.

Dr. Prince was a self-proclaimed “transgenderist” who popularized changing gender not sex. She had very little success in the 20th century because the culture was less ready for that combination: a woman with male genitalia. Millions wanted to come out, so they dropped the “ist,” said it’s private to ask about genitalia / sexuality, focused on gender not sex, and applied the new term “transgender” to all trans persons as an umbrella.

This video clip is a clear example of that Culture of Secrecy: Caitlyn Jenner with Diane Sawyer, April 21, 2017 on 20/20, ABC News, Cait implies SRS without saying so, won’t say she’s “transsexual” even though she implies she is one, marginalizes sex in favor of gender identities / transitions—all tenets of the transgender (B) paradigm above—and warns everyone not to ask for specifics.

“…to all people out there: Don’t ask the question. It’s not an appropriate question to ask any trans person.”

This is just one clip, but it’s what Cait does in her media campaign. She says she supports all LGBT, but she won’t even mention transsexualism. “Transsexual” is not in her book, either, not that she’s actually had SRS She just refers to a “final surgery,” without specifying what that is. As a counter example, even though Janet Mock pushes us all as part of transgenderism, she at least mentions transsexualism and says she is one. But Cait doesn’t.

Why?

Well, Janet is experienced, and Cait isn’t* (important to say for Cait’s defense, below). Though I disagree with the gender-centric / sex-obfuscation aspects of the T movement, transgenders are the largest out group / book buying base, and I think Janet is more sophisticated in navigating what Virginia Prince referred to as “the gender wars” (Gender Blending, 1997, p. 469). We argue over what is what, often because we’re hiding things or pretending we’re something we’re not.

Then I see this clip of Cait with Piers Morgan on September 4, 2017:

Cait says: “Although I was a trans person, I had never met anybody else that was trans until I came out…” She came out and transitioned in 2015 when she was 65. She really is relatively new at this.

Real issues of trans politics are generally hidden to protect issues they’re hiding. It takes decades for things to happen, for the light to dawn. Leaders and major organizations can’t say they’re phrasing things a certain way to hide sexuality, because that would highlight the sexuality they’re trying to hide. This Culture of Secrecy, not owning our own sexualities, is dangerous for us as human beings.

* These areas, progressively intense, are where it’s important to remember that Caitlyn is new in the field. It’s why I’m not placing “blame”; rather, I’m hoping for awareness.

Cait, hon, with love: You have high profile friends who are trans leaders and movers in media. I have to ask you some very hard questions about why you’re taking an extreme obfuscating stance about trans person sexualities, why you help hide it, why you think we shouldn’t be able to be proud of who we are with it, and why you don’t want to help normalize it:

1. You cry all your life to be yourself, switch—but you still don’t feel you can say what you are? You seem to refer to transsexualism as transgender-with-a-final-surgery—yet the differences between those two phenomena are opposite on the very sex issues you don’t mention and outright tell others not to discuss. Have trusted friends suggested to you that you should say gender not sex, minimize and marginalize transsexualism?

2. Were you influenced by trusted people in your sphere to take an extreme-left gender view in the media, hiding genitalia / sexuality, to please the largest base (transgenders, B) in selling image, book, and possible movie—a view that is so transgender you can’t even admit my sex issues exist, either? Me, someone you know is adamantly transsexual. You twist sexuality into gender, but you can’t. Sex isn’t gender. A penis is still a male sex organ, a vagina female—and it does matter. Please excuse me for being so blunt, but how can transgenders (B, above) expect genitalia to be private—the concept of a woman with a penis unsold to the public—begin having sex with someone, and then expect him not to be surprised or respond with anger or violence? That is a child’s wish of denial based on fear of rejection. It’s clear you and other trans leaders demand people accept you in gender role, regardless of genitalia or sexuality, but there are places where human nature does not work that way, and people get hurt (see #3).

3. CAIT: This is the most important part, here. IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, READ THIS:

Hate crimes, self-discriminations, stressors, alienations, suicides and murder do occur—sometimes as a direct result of choices we make in this Culture of Secrecy.

If there were trusted friends who encouraged you to play down our sexualities and warn the public not to ask, did those trusted friends also warn you that some of us trans people will will suffer because of it? I bet they didn’t. I bet they either didn’t know or left it out.

If so, then maybe you have been trying to promote that secrecy of sexuality because you thought it was the right thing to do—laudable in your heart—that you were not willing to let some people suffer for gain. You are new, learning.

But on November 20, 2017, I believe it was, in front of your hangar at Camarillo Airport, I broke down and cried, told you how hurtful that secrecy is. I was sitting in my car at the time, and you were standing beside the car door. I told you the 7 ways the culture of secrecy can hurt us, point by point, and you heard me. You countered with transgender paradigm cliché’s a couple times, testing me, but you listened, and you hugged me twice through my open window. Then I emailed you the next day to give you the info in writing as well.

You may not believe me when I point them out. I’m one small voice against a tsunami of transgender advocates who fight to keep T sexuality a secret, who will argue they did say it (if briefly or peripherally), who will no doubt shout me down to shut me up for saying negative things out loud. But you did hear me, and having heard me, you can no longer move forward without that knowledge. My voice is a devil’s advocate, but my reasoning is sound.

Trans leaders have an obligation to encourage dialogue—not shut it down—to get the word out about this, to help those of us who have no audible voice navigate these painful issues.

I’m asking you, Cait: Even though our views may be opposite, trans persons of all kinds need social dialogue to help us navigate and normalize. Please do not help misguided leaders set us up for the hazards I have described. Please break the culture of silence and share what is really going on.

You may say that you’re sharing your own experience when you talk in the media, but that’s not what’s really happening:

(1) People see/hear the most famous trans person in the world (as Piers Morgan referred to you in your interview), and they generalize what you say. Surely you or your publicity staff know that. If no qualifiers are offered, your statements paint us all. And even if you literally mean some sentences to only be your personal experience, can’t you also say that there are others—like me—who exist, who are strongly opposed to your views but have little public voice, who would die without SRS, that sex and gender are both important but two different things? Failing to do so leaves all trans people (TS and TG alike) at risk.

(2) You are not just sharing your views about yourself; you’re telling the world what to do, say, or ask about us. Look at your video clip with Diane Sawyer. You say,

“…to all people out there: Don’t ask the question. It’s not an appropriate question to ask any trans person.”

I know we all fear rejection, but as Harvey Milk said,

“Coming out is the most political thing you can do.”

And as Kenji Yoshino tells us, we can’t normalize in society if we cover up for who and what we really are (Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights, 2007). Hiding our sexualities is a hidden attack on our civil rights. It isn’t all on other people; we are part of that dynamic.

DEMONSTRATION OF QUESTIONS

I’m also here to tell journalists it’s okay to ask—that journalists should ask. Please do.

It’s not hard to be clear. I’ll demonstrate with my own life:

  • Yes, I was born male, with penis and all. It hurt terribly in my soul since birth, since my first thoughts at age 3.
  • Medically required living as the other gender-but-not-sex prior to my SRS in 1981 was the most painful period of my life and would have killed me, it was so impossible to be. See my memoir: Shadow Life: Aerospace, Love, and Secrets.
  • My sex identity is female.
  • My genitalia is female in form and function.
  • My sexual response is female.
  • Statement: I am transsexual because I was born male, but my need has always been to be biologically female, and I’ve done all medical science can do to make it so. I believe it is a fetal neurological non-differentiation in the brain. That has not been confirmed, but I’ve felt it daily since my first thoughts in life. As long as the brain is part of the body, I’ll believe this is one of the many intersex conditions that is not obvious on the outside. Decades in role and still feeling it, it seems confirmed to me, not a mistake or phase. It’s the way I was born, who and what I am. It is impossible as of yet to change sex biologically, but I can survive legally, socially, anatomically/genitally. When science learns to change chromosomes, I’ll get that done, too.

Now I’ll demonstrate asking Cait for the public. I have to strive for specificity because you have a history of obfuscation:

  • Did you have SRS, male genitalia removed and re-fashioned into the form and function of female genitalia? (I use “SRS” because it is specific; “GRS,” etc., are euphemistic implications popular with transgenders, refer to gender, which is not sex, and could be anything including breast augmentation, nose jobs, tummy tuck…)
  • If so, when did you have SRS?
  • Do you still have a penis and/or testes? Do you have a vagina?
  • What is your physical sex identity? (Not gender identity, but sex identity?)
  • Regardless of SRS, is your sexual response—the way you respond, sexually—male, female, none, or something else? (I ask because you bill yourself as transgender with an extra surgery, not as transsexual, and in such cases, sometimes the sexuality isn’t opposite.)
  • What is a statement you’d like to make? Are you transsexual, and if you believe so, how do you define that? Specifically? How would you like to describe yourself?

PLEA FOR OPENNESS

Reporters and all of us: Transition must not be some fantasy of accept me as say I am but don’t ask me what I really am. Obfuscation and subterfuge have no place in finding acceptance for who or what we really are.

For people who go on TV, sell books or movie rights: I hope people will see the importance of admitting sexuality. All these issues revolve around sex identity, genitalia, having sex, and how you respond to sex (as male or female). Researchers need it to dig and find truths and should not be intimidated by radical dogma or threats. Legislators need the truth when considering laws. Families and friends need it to help them understand what they’re suspecting.

And for reporters: Ask about genitalia, what different surgeries are, sex identity, sexuality overall, sexual response nature as a male or female…all of it. People who are in the public spotlight by their own will? ASK THEM. People making major changes in their life depend on them. Please don’t give in to misinformation that’s so readily given. Help us trans people dig our way out of this denial that grips the modern movement, and help society learn we’re actually good and valuable people as we truly are.

Diane Sawyer, all reporters: Please help.